***Video above: Details released on Jayland Walker’s autopsy***
AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – A special grand jury returned no charges against Akron police for the shooting death of Jayland Walker on Monday, April 17.
The grand jury’s decision came as Akron officials, businesses and schools prepared for possible protests in the city over the past few weeks.
Here is a breakdown of everything we know in the deadly police-involved shooting.
The shooting death of Jayland Walker
Around 12:30 a.m. on June 27, investigators say Akron police tried to pull over Walker’s vehicle at Thayer and East Tallmadge Avenue for a broken taillight, leading to a short pursuit.
Akron police say Walker fired a shot at officers during the chase, but investigators say he was unarmed when he was shot and killed by police outside of the vehicle.
Officers fired 90 gunshots, shooting Walker 46 times.
Investigators found a gun in the backseat of Walker’s car.
An autopsy report later revealed that Walker had been shot 46 times.
The eight officers on the scene were placed on paid administrative leave and the shooting was turned over to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Police body camera video released
Around a week after the shooting, Akron police publicly released police body camera footage from the fatal shooting.
In a press conference where the videos were released on July 3, Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett said it was hard to determine what led officers to fire their weapons. Mylett said still photos of the footage appear to show Walker reaching down to his waist.
Amid the release of the footage, Walker’s family was calling for peace from the community.
“We want peace. This family has had enough violence. We want dignity, we want to celebrate the life of this young man in a way that brings dignity to him and to the city and we want justice, which means a fair process, reviewing all the facts and let that process play out. We do not want violence of any kind,” said Attorney Bobby DiCello.
Protests break out in Akron
Demonstrators protested through the streets of Akron for weeks and even months after Walker’s death.
Riots also broke out during that time, particularly in the early days after body camera video was released, leading restaurants and businesses to be vandalized. Those led to arrests and curfews in the city.
The I-Team gathered video of protests of that turned violent downtown.
The night after police released body camera video, 50 people were arrested for getting unruly and not dispersing when the curfew went into place.
Protests stayed peaceful during the day, but when the sun went down, multiple business windows were shattered.
A few days later, video surfaced of an Akron officer punching a protester.
Days of protests and unrest followed. On July 8, hundreds of people gathered for a peace rally on East Wilbeth Road, right next to where Walker was shot. The next day, SkyFox captured video of protesters marching and blocking some intersections.
Meanwhile, officials said police officers, as well as Mayor Dan Horrigan, were receiving threats.
“There have been bounties placed on police officers’ heads,” Chief Mylett said in a press briefing.
Akron City Council leaders called for a city-wide Day of Mourning on July 13, the day of Walker’s funeral, amid the unrest and other violence happening in the city.
After the funeral, Attorney DiCello said, “We are going to hold them accountable for every single bullet that they fired in this case.”
Autopsy report released
The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office released the autopsy report on July 15, detailing Walker’s death.
According to the report, Walker was shot by police 46 times. He was shot in the head, torso, pelvis, legs, arms and knees, the report said.
The toxicology report showed no sign of drugs or alcohol in his system.
The autopsy report also showed that officers there attempted medical intervention.
The medical examiner didn’t determine if Walker fired a shot. They said gunshot residue testing is unreliable, so they didn’t conduct the residue tests to see if he fired the gun in his car.
In a statement, Walker’s family called findings in the report “horrific” and “absolutely inhumane.”
Akron officers in investigation reinstated
The eight officers under investigation for Walker’s death were reinstated and returned to work in October. The officers were placed on desk duty.
The move sparked criticism from activists and family attorneys.
“This sends a message loud and clear to the community that this administration does not care what the community feels or thinks,” said Ray Greene, with The Freedom BLOC.
Chief Mylett defended the decision, saying it was made amid a staffing “crisis” in the police department.
“I pray for the family, I pray for our officers. While I’m very compassionate for that and how it will be received, I have a greater responsibility to the entire Akron community and the public at large,” Chief Mylett said.
Preparing for the jury decision
Ahead of the grand jury’s decision, signs of elevated security could already be seen in the city. Summit County Courthouse is surrounded with steel barricades and city hall’s street-level windows are boarded up.
Akron schools and the University of Akron made preparations in case of possible unrest.
There is a planned demonstration zone on High Street from East Bowery Street to University Avenue.
The Akron mayor released the following statement earlier Monday:
“As we prepare for whatever is to come from the grand jury as they make decisions in the officer-involved shooting of Jayland Walker, we remain committed to listening to our residents and making space for their voices and concerns, while also prioritizing everyone’s safety. At the beginning of this process, I asked our community to have patience with the investigation and we are now getting very close to some answers. I have an overwhelming amount of faith in the Akron community and I know we will lean into our partnerships and relationships through the uncertainty of the days ahead.”
Keep up with city updates here.